As a writer, I like when someone comments about one of my stories. I also like when I make someone wonder about me.
One day last week, a young lady that works for the same firm I do was getting on the elevator with her friend. I got on behind them. Normally (like there is really anything normal about anything I do anymore) I would joke around with them and tell some tale about elevator etiquette. Before I could do so, the young lady–we’ll call her V–said to me:
“Can I ask you a question?”
In my experience when a female ask that question, I am either a) in trouble or b) about to be in trouble.
“Sure. I may not have an answer, but I’ll try.”
She scrunched up her nose and her upper lip curled up on one side. It was a really good Rocky impersonation. “Where did that dark side come from?”
I knew what she was talking about, but I tried to play dumb, which for me isn’t that hard and it’s really not an act.
“What are you talking about?”
She shook her head. “Come on. The book.”
“Ohhhhhhh… yeah, I’ve always been like that.”
“Oh yeah. I’ve always liked the darker things.”
And that’s the thing: I work with people every day. Most of them have no clue I’m a writer. For the most part, I keep the two separated, simply because I write horror and a lot of people view horror writers as twisted, demented people who should be locked up in cages in someone’s basement. Oh wait. That’s not right, but they do think we’re twisted and demented–how else could we come up with the subjects we write about?
The answer to that last question is… ummm… real life gives us most of our subject matter, but that’s for another day.
The point is: most of the people I work with know me as a nice, helpful person (for the most part. Sometimes the niceness goes right out the window and I revert to my normal persona). So, when they read something I’ve written, it opens their eyes… or maybe it scares them a little. A few even view me differently now.
I’m okay with that.
V said, “I was reading and saying, oh… oh my…”
What V was referring to is my short story collection, Along the Splintered Path, three stories about splintered lives. She mentioned the second story in the book, ‘Round These Bones. She said it was disturbing.
There you go. I succeeded at my job. The story was intended to be disturbing and if I managed to make one person feel that way, then it was a job well done.
As writers, that’s what we want. We want to hear from people. We want to know that something we wrote did what it was supposed to do. We want to know that the readers enjoy the stories and we want to know when it made them cry or if it made them angry or sick to their stomach or even made them smile.
I’m happy with V’s feelings on the book. It did what it was meant to do.
If you would like to check out Along the Splintered Path, just go here.
I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Pick it up. Leave a review. Writers really do want to hear from the readers. It helps us figure out what we are doing right and it helps us to know what needs to be fixed.
If you pick up the book, maybe you’ll look like this person (her name is Gina and yes, this was used with permission) while you’re reading it.
I thank you, now, for reading, not only Along the Splintered Path, but also Type AJ Negative.
Read on and your thoughts are always welcome.
Until we meet again, my friends…